The Silver Road

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Three years ago, high school teacher Lelle’s 17 year old daughter Lina went missing. Lelle’s wife Annet blamed her husband - he’d dropped his daughter at the bus stop, - why hadn’t he stayed until the bus arrived? Lelle blames himself too, and he uses drink as a crutch, and spends his waking hours searching the ‘silver road ‘ where Lina disappeared. Such is his obsession, he also spends much of the night searching too, not wanting to waste a moment, unable to rest, but it’s playing havoc with both his physical and mental health. Annet meanwhile sleeps her days away with the help of medication. Needless to say it brings their marriage to an end. Neither of them able to come to terms with their despair, and unable or unwilling to communicate their feelings. Annet has moved on now, got herself a new partner, and she thinks it’s time Lelle stopped his searching, time he accepted that Lina won’t be coming home.

In the meantime, 17 year old Meja arrives in the small, isolated Swedish town, and finds herself in Lelle’s class. This is a girl who hasn’t had the best of lives - she doesn’t know her father, and her mother Silje, can best be described as feckless. In Lelle though, Meja finds someone willing to help her, and as autumn turns to winter, their lives become intertwined in a most surprising and frightening way.

The police trail for Lina has gone cold, but now another girl has gone missing and she’s the same age as Lina - she even looks like her. Lelle is convinced that there is a connection and he won’t stop searching until he brings both girls home.

It’s not difficult to understand what Lelle is going through - the torment of not knowing what has happened to his daughter, and the all pervading air of sadness he carries with him, as he searches long abandoned homes deep in the forest, with their smells of decay, rotten wood, and a desolation matched only by the solitude of the remote Swedish landscape. But Lelle’s despair is all consuming and my heart breaks for him - God how it breaks!

This is Scandi noir at its best. Stina Jackson has written a beautifully haunting story of love, loss, and a father’s obsession. The incredible (but moody) landscape, the isolation, the strange characters that a location like this can create - all of these elements come together to create a simply beautiful, heartbreaking but compelling read.

So I’ve finished another book, put it to one side, but I can’t get Lelle out of my head - this imperfect, despairing, yet ultimately caring man will stay with me for some time to come!
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A good quality scandi fiction book. Great   character development which really dragged you in to the story
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Atmospheric, slow burning and heart-rending  . A superb debut novel, and a must-read for fans of noir fiction.

The chapters are interchangeably split between Lelle, who relentlessly searches the area around the Silver Road for his teenage daughter who has been missing for three years, and Meja, who travels around from place to place and man to man with her worryingly unstable and self absorbed mother.

The first half of the book has an almost feverish quality to it. Set in the months in Sweden when it doesn’t get dark, the erratic behaviour of the characters (and the mosquitoes, the damned mosquitos *slaps neck) fits really well with the days which never seem to end. It’s also in contrast to the bleakness of the story. The second half is set in the darkness of winter, where Lelle has to scale down his search and the two stories start to combine.

This isn’t a detective novel; it’s a man looking for answers, trying to succeed where the police gave up. Lelle suspects everyone; the police were perhaps looking closer to home. As readers, we just don’t know. Is his own guilt driving him, or is he right to keep searching to find out what really happened?

It doesn’t twist and turn, there is no real shock reveal; it’s a more profound story with a slower pace. It’s emotional, visceral and heart rending. It drew me in and kept me there. It’s a story about isolation and abandonment, where suffocating loneliness means that any attachment is better than none at all.

The characters are really well developed and the story is totally absorbing. I really loved it.
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Although there were sections about the hero that tended to drag a bit I really enjoyed this book. The plot was different, and the ending dramatic and believable.
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This is an enjoyable, but rather sad Swedish story about a father searching for his daughter, who he is sure has been abducted 3 years before.  He searches relentlessly throughout the endless summer nights on long empty roads.  You really do feel for him in his anguish, as his life falls apart and he self destructs in many ways.  The story builds to a rather surprising conclusion which is both sad and happy.  
I very much enjoyed the Swedish atmosphere of the book, with the 24 hour daylight in summer and deep snow in winter.  Very good book
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The current trend of Scandinavian crime thriller noir, has come a long way since Wallander. The story of a fathers search for his missing daughter leads to the break up of his marriage and spirals into depression and alcohol abuse. His life changes irrevocably when the body of his daughter is finally discovered.
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I enjoy Scandi fiction and this debut did not disappoint.
A fantastic debut novel, 
Gripping, unpredictable, I found myself racing through it to find out who was accountable for the abductions - and I can honestly say that when I did find out who it was, I hadn’t guessed - which is unusual! 
The characters are likeable, the style of writing beautifully descriptive, I got lost in this book, it really is that good. 
Highly recommended.
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I loved this book. It is a story of hope, love, loss, desperation and strength. It was well written, the main characters were so likeable and my heart went out to them both for many different reasons. I changed my mind four or five times throughout at what the outcome would be. I’m giving this one all of the stars and would highly recommend. 5/5  stars.
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Thank you to both NetGalley and Atlanticbooks for my eARC of this book in exchange for my unbiased honest review.
Sadly I didn’t really enjoy this book. I found that it lacked identity and focus. It also appeared a little confusing.
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Terrific debut from Stina Jackson with The Silver Road. Packed with atmospheric descriptions of its Swedish midnight sun setting and several finely drawn characters especially the devastated father Lelle who cannot stop searching for his missing daughter and the student to whom he is drawn, Mela and her dysfunctional mother Silja. The alternating chapters from Lelle’s and Mela’s point of views worked well and I found the writing style immersive. It was a slow build, but that’s no criticism, and the climax is a veritable page turner with twists aplenty. As the proof copy so aptly says The Silver Road is both haunting and tragic. I’m sure Stina Jackson will be an author to watch. Thanks to Netgalley, Atlantic Books and Corvus.
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Thank you to NetGallery and publishers Atlantic Books/Corvus for my ARC.

This debut novel by Stina Jackson won the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award in 2018.

The Silver Road is an engrossing read for anyone, but particularly for those who love their crime novels to have a strong spirit of place, and, as soon as I started to immerse myself in its world, I just had to find out if there was a real silver road - and there is. A trading route dating back to the 10th century that runs from Arjeplog to the Norwegian coast, and apparently named after an ancient silver mine in the Nasa Mountain. The gorgeous book cover shows this road running between dark pines, before it hits the treeline - the route that Lelle drives under the midnight sun, searching for his lost daughter. Lelle encounters individuals isolated by this dark forest on his search.  

Meanwhile, a parallel narrative unwinds: the story of a young woman (the same age as Lelle's lost daughter),  Meja, and her fragile mother Silje who is seeking a kind of sanctuary with one such isolated individual, the porn-addicted and seemingly-sinister Tjorborn whom she met online. Things take an ominous turn as Meja becomes romantically entangled with a boy from a 'Luddite' style survivalist camp nearby. 
And then another 17-year-old girl, Hannah, goes missing. 

The endless day gives way to Autumn and long, dark, pine-scented nights ... there's a dark twist to come. 

There are some details of the book and its denouement which cover a not unfamiliar theme, but this is an original take on the theme and one of the great strengths of the book is that the characters are very plausibly drawn, and are therefore as unpredictable as real humans are. Stereotypes are frequently overturned - and this keeps you guessing, becomes an important part of the plot. A story of darkness but also of light.

The father, Lelle, and his refusal to give up searching, his refusal to give up hope, is particularly touchingly portrayed, as is Meja's emotionally-damaged mother. 

Pace, intrigue, characterisation, shock, and an extraordinary setting make this a really impressive and immersive read - appropriately long into a winter night, in my case.
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It was a usual Nordic style novel. Veery atmospheric, dark, and gripping. 
In this one, we follow 2 stories that connect to each other in time. I loved the scary, dark atmosphere of Sweden. It's perfect for winter reads. Meja's story was emotional, disturbing. A bit hard to read. But, well written.

So, if you like dark, Nordic thrillers that will put you at the edge of your seat, this is a good option.
Thanks a lot to Netgalley and the publisher for a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is one of those rare ones which the reader just cannot put down. The characters are developed with care and sensitivity and the reader can empathise with each of the main persona. The main character is a father who drop his daughter at the bus stop but fails to make sure she gets onto the bus. The reader follows his journey of driving the silver road each night to try to find what has happened to her.  Concurrently we are introduced to a young girl on the verge of life who has matured beyond her years looking after her mentally unstable mother. The two main characters lives converge through a family who have withdrawn from society to the detriment of all including their three sons. The reader is left wondering what are the true responsibilities of parents to their children. An added bonus is the visual description of the Swedish countryside in both winter and summer. This is a beautifully written book.
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The Silver Road is the debut novel of Stina Jackson, a Swede currently living in Denver USA. The events of the novel take place in  a remote area of northern Sweden, with little for local inhabitants to do other than survive. The authors background knowledge has allowed a superb ongoing description of the isolation, bleak conditions and relentless boredom experienced by the local population. The reader is initially exposed to a father endlessly searching for his daughter who went missing three years previously whilst those around him seem to have given up all hope. Simultaneously a seventeen year old girl from a seriously dysfunctional background arrives in the area. Initially I felt frustrated at the slow pace of events and two stories that did not appear to be going anywhere. Then from nowhere, suddenly the writer moved along from background and place to people and events; my interest was fired up and I became interested, then seriously involved in a good storyline reaching the cannot put this book down until conclusion. Perhaps the emphasis on the conditions of the area and more general background information prevented initial involvement and identification of the depression and general hopelessness felt by the main two characters When the events are allowed to take precedence there is an excellent storyline with several characters coming into play allowing interaction and development of relationships and animosities leading to a thrilling conclusion. Not sure if the tying up of loose ends felt contrived and an unnecessary ending to a more than satisfactory culmination of events.
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Outstanding debut novel ! The need for Lima’s father to find her is so intoxicating that you can feel his rage and desperation. I could not put it down as I desperately wanted a conclusion for this strong character. Highly recommended #TheSilverRoad #NetGalley
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A heart breaking story about a missing girl and the impact on her father running alongside a story of a girl who has been brought up by an alcoholic single mother and just wants to be loved
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An intense and dark read in the Scandi-noir tradition. There is a lot of coffee drunk, cigarettes smoked and nights that are either way too light or far too dark. This is an amazing debut thriller. 

Three years ago Lelle’s daughter went missing and he has not stopped searching for her since. He spends the summer nights driving the Silver Road trying to find his daughter. Meanwhile a young girl, with a troubled life, arrives in the same remote Swedish town. It is inevitable that their paths are going to cross.

This is such an atmospheric novel imbued with the sadness of a father searching for his lost daughter and a young girl’s desperation to find some security in her life. It is very well written and translated, with suspense building from the first page to the tragic conclusion.   

I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley and publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.
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Oh my goodness this was so so good and so so dark and what a wonderful author Stina Jackson is with this absolutely stunning debut novel and it's a definite must read!!
I am such a big fan of Scandi fiction and this book filled all of the requirements and so much more. Intoxicating, atmospheric and set in a bleak landscape of the midnight sun, filled with the desperation and sadness of a father trying to find if his missing daughter is alive driving the Silver road night after night.
Along side this we also have the story of Meja a 17 year old with a dysfunctional mother struggling to find some happiness when moving to live close to the Silver road. There is a feeling of menace in this book from the start and as it progresses the suspense increases leading to gripping climax. I loved the book it was beautifully written with empathy and wonderful descriptions of the landscapes making it a read I found compelling and difficult to put down making it one of my all time favourite books and highly recommended.
My thanks to NetGalley and Atlantic books/ Corvus for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I love all things Scandi noir and this book was no exception. Lelle searching every inch of the Silva Road for his missing daughter Lina. His life became a macabre record continuously on loop for the three years since her disappearance. You see the complete agony and grief played out in this man and your heart goes out to him. A seventeen year old girl Meja, new to the town after her mother meets a man on the internet is a lost soul looking for somewhere to call home. She thinks she.gets it with her new boyfriends family, but they really are nothing like the Walton's. The book was a slow burner but the momentum was enough to keep me interested. I confess I did guess the twist long before it happened but the ending was still a brilliant conclusion. I am interested in reading more from this author as book is a good start to the Scandi noir crime genre.
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An enjoyable book.  I always approach reading a Scandinavian thriller with some uncertainty as I know from previous experiences how slow (for me) they can be.  However, this book does not fall into that category. I can't really say much happens but the book is very well written, has a relatively small number of characters and I found myself being able to associates with the main ones.  No-one in the book is portrayed as a hero/heroine so it is a case of trying to get to grips with how they are and what caused this.  There was no 'wow I did not expect that' .moment and the outcome was really only going to be a fifty/fifty choice for the culprit(s).   Nevertheless I definitely recommend the book
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